The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) is demanding that all laboratory physicians who have been forced out of their places of work within various hospital laboratories be restored with immediate effect.
It is also calling for all resident medical doctors in training with health institutions like the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, pursuing programmes in laboratory medicine to be granted unfettered access to relevant laboratory spaces in the teaching hospitals.
According to the association, the medical laboratory scientists group and its members at Korle-Bu, Cape Coast and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals do not allow these resident doctors to pursue their training.
President of GMA, Dr. Frank Ankobea, at a press conference in Koforidua on Sunday, asked that all threats including harassment and assaults directed at laboratory physician residents and specialists must cease with immediate effect and the culprits prosecuted.
The GMA was responding to the developments at KATH where laboratory scientists are demanding the removal of two laboratory physicians from holding key positions at the laboratory, leading to striking action.
“GMA takes a serious view to this and want the Ghana Health Service to take immediate action to resolve the impasse, else, we will be forced to reject reports from laboratory technicians,” Dr. Ankobea said.
He refuted the claims by the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists that the two haematologists were posted to KATH to head the unit and described it as “a deliberate misinformation.”
“The view that only medical laboratory scientists regulated by the Allied Health Professions Council should work in hospital laboratories to the exclusion of all other cadres of laboratory professionals, especially laboratory physicians in Ghana, is erroneous and ill-intentioned,” he said.
The standard practice, the GMA said, was that, every laboratory result was supposed to be certified by a laboratory physician who is a trained doctor but that was not being enforced. Therefore, the posting of the laboratory physicians to the laboratories contravenes no law.
“We are asking for the right thing to be done, after all, is it not a medical doctor who requests for the laboratory examination to be conducted? What is the big deal for a doctor to work at the laboratory,” Dr. Justice Yankson, General Secretary of GMA quizzed.
He stated that the laboratory space was not for only one group of health workers, and called on the Ministry of Health and all relevant agencies to resolve the matter swiftly in the interest of the public.